Hitting a snag with Gedt 3.18

Posted on Tue 15 March 2016 in Articles • 2 min read

In my last post I outlined my intention to create a series of plugins for Gedit instead of going to the effort of coding an application from scratch. Alas. I've hit a snag.

To date, most of my plugins have been written in what ever version of Gedit that's in the standard Ubuntu repos, so it's a littler older than what's current. A few days ago though, I decided to reload my Chromebook and chose to install Arch Linux with Gnome. Arch operates on a rolling release model and so it ships with the latest stable versions. That's great when you want the new and shiny (Corebird, Arc theme etc) but it royally sucks when you want to do any development work against a stable API.

Case in point, Gedit 3.18, has updated its plugin API and broken all my homemade plugins. Rub salt in to the wound and not only does the official Gedit plugin tutorial not work but I can't find much in the way of documentation. Thanks Team Gnome, you guys rock.

Sarcasm aside, I need to investigate this further, in truth, the issue may be with missing packages on Arch. However, it's given me pause for thought. New and shiny is great for end users but it can be a really pain for developers, especially if you are on a platform that's changing rapidly.

So I'm left with a couple of options: I can reload (again) and go back to tried and tested Ubuntu 14.04 (losing the ability to run a lot of modern Gtk apps and themes). I can waste time getting things to work again in 3.18 (fully expecting them to break in 3.20). Or I can give up on the idea of using Gedit and try something else.

Before committing, I need to rethink my options. Naturally, I'll continue looking at the latest Gedit but that will depend on if I can write a plugin that supports multiple versions -- including older versions. I'll also look at using Pluma, a fork of Gedit 2 for the Mate desktop environment, which I use on several machines. Ubuntu Mate also runs, and is very popular, on the Raspberry Pi 2/3.

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